East meets West at Tealicious
David James continues his mission to visit all of Marlborough’s food trucks.
Taking a journey through Marlborough’s food trucks, you never know - you might see Winston Peters’ face on a bikkie.
This week we discover the brightly coloured food truck named ‘Tealicious’ parked up at Wino’s car park. The menu consists of Indonesian and Kiwi fusion burgers, frozen yoghurt and the odd Winnie Peters or Janette Walker portrait cookie (and only when you pre-order).
The two passionate foodies – and delightful humans – running this little gem are married couple Hendri and Indah Mayasari.
Their mission is to bring traditional Indonesian cuisine to Marlborough, and they plan to do that one Indo kroket at a time.
The husband and wife team from Sumatra, Indonesia have been living in Marlborough for 10 years. Hendri doesn’t have a last name, which is a common custom in Indonesia. But he says that it can make travelling to other countries a nightmare.
‘‘Last time I was held by airport security. On my passport, it just says ‘Hendri’, no surname.
They don’t like that. So I just call myself ‘Hendri Hendri’. It’s much easier.’’
Indeed, all the three of the couple’s children share the last name, ‘Hendri’.
Hendri and Mayasari’s story of how they came to be in Marlborough is not your typical one.
Hendri has a finance background and worked in Jakarta, in the fast-paced world of finance. It turns out, that it wasn’t the world for him.
‘‘When I came here, I worked at Subway sandwich for maybe seven years,’’ says Hendri. ‘‘So I came from working in office, 9 to 5, wearing a suit, looking at graphs, and currency. Very boring. Then I started working making sandwiches.
‘‘After that I found, ‘this is me! I never thought I would do this kind of work, and then when I tried it… you just know – that’s what I wanna do! I was like – this is my passion.
‘‘I like meeting people, and talking to people. And making them some food.’’
The pair first started trading in a gazebo at the Saturday Boot Sale Market, selling potato doughnuts and the Indo delicacy – kroket.
A little history: During Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia, both the cultures influenced each other’s cuisine resulting in type of fusion that is unique to the Indonesian culinary culture. One of the by-products of that intermingling is the distinctively Indo flavours of the kroket (a mix of the Dutch croquette and Indonesian ingredients).
‘‘We sell kroket – they are like Dutch spring rolls,’’ says Mayasari. ‘‘But they are slightly different from Indonesian spring rolls. Krokets use milk and its very creamy. And Indonesian uses lots of spices, for the kroket.’’
The pair managed to win the People’s Choice Award at the Wine and Food Festival in 2017 for their pairing of the kroket with a Toi Toi Pinot Gris. And just two months ago they decided to go fulltime with the Indonesian kitchen on wheels.
And Mayasari herself has been dabbling in another culinary art form: portrait cookies. Half A4-sized cookies that can be custom ordered with your favourite person’s mug on them.
‘‘At election time, customer order faces of politicians and I did one of Winston Peters and Janette Walker.’’
Both Mayasari and Hendri say they have been overwhelmed by the kindness of the locals and that their food truck has been gone from strength to strength.
‘‘When I first came here to Blenheim, I was just shocked, with the kindness and the openness of the people. They smile and say hello to you. What is it - ‘kia Ora bro?’’’ Hendri laughs.
‘‘Everyone says that New Zealand it’s the nature and the scenery that is beautiful, but I think the more beautiful is the people.’’
You will find the Hendri Hendri and Indah Mayasari at the Tealicious food truck in Wino’s car park on Grove Rd in Blenheim, from 10.30am – 8pm every day, or at a special event near you.
Hendri and Indah Mayasari at the Tealicious food truck in the Wino’s car park on Grove Rd.